Sydney Grace: Christmas in July 2022 – California Coast and Mountain Trail Palettes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas in July! Sydney Grace’s annual Christmas in July sale has everything you need to put you in the holiday spirit, except for the spiked egg nog (no pun intended). Sales, makeup, good times with fellow beauty lovers, and more sales. What a joyous occasion!

Nomad Cosmetics: Haunted Europe

One of the most interesting features of Haunted Europe is

Sydney Grace – Temptalia Collection

I’ve never been more excited about an eyeshadow collaboration! It is finally time for Sydney Grace and Christine of Temptalia to bless us with their new highly-anticipated collection! I may be a bit biased as I look up to Christine immensely as a long-time creator in the beauty world, but this is such a thoughtful … Read more

Glaminatrix Cosmetics: You Beauty!

Hey friends! Remember me? It’s been a crazy year and I just hope that I can get back to creating and sharing content regularly with y’all. Please don’t cancel me for these unintended hiatuses. Cancel my job…and student loan debt while you’re at it. *Hint, hint, Biden.*

Kaleidos Makeup: Club Nebula

Happy Hump Day! Today, I’m bringing y’all swatches of the Club Nebula palette from Kaleidos Makeup. Kaleidos created the palette in collaboration with Angelica Nyqvist. This is the earliest I’ve ever reviewed a Kaleidos collection, but there’s a reason. The palette restocks today, February 17, 2021, at 11 pm PST. This is supposedly the last restock and the palette will only be available in limited quantities.

If you can’t get your hands on this palette, please don’t be too disappointed. I know Kaleidos typically means business when they discontinue a product, so the chances that this palette will come back are low. But you can always dupe out colors with other brands. If you feel pressure to support the creator, remember financial support is just one way to do so. If it’s not in your budget this month, you and everyone else will be fine without it. Supporting yourself is more important that supporting your favorite creators.

Bonus points if you catch the easter egg in the swatch photos. This post was supposed to go up a bit earlier so those were intended to be a helpful reminder of the restock date. And, also, I’m particularly drawn to the date because it’s my birthday. 🙂 

About Club Nebula

I think Kaleidos and Angelica did a fantastic job creating this palette. The color story immediately spoke to me, which makes perfect sense given how much I love greens, blues, and purples.

I love the depth of this palette. Naaru is the only light matte, and one light matte in a palette is definitely a welcome change for me. While it looked decent swatched, it did have a light, almost white cast when applied to my eye. I don’t think it is too light to use, but it is a shadow I would use primarily to blend out other shadows. 

Gravity stood out to me the most out of all of the mattes. It swatched as I would expect a neon matte to swatch, with slight separation of pigment/patchiness and trouble consistently adhering to skin after a certain amount of powder is used. It blends out well, although there can be a small yellow halo around the primary bright green pigment.

The other mattes are beautiful and rich. I noticed Queen of Blades looks best over primer. Without primer, it can easily venture into patchy territory. With primer, it is perfectly pigmented.

You’re My Only Hope is a beautiful lavender in the pan, but it reads as a silver or pale blue on my skin. I would have loved to get more of that purple to show up on my skin.

I was surprised that the two multichromes, Astro and Celestial, were labeled as such. They aren’t quite as shifty as some of the shadows labeled as duochromes, Nova in particular. All of the shifty shadows in Club Nebula are soft and light, which is interesting when you consider how deep the mattes go.

I’m not sure if the formulas in the palette are unique compared to other brands. Everything performs well, for the most part, but nothing stands out to me as exceptional. I know this statement stands in stark contrast with some of the earlier praises of Kaleidos (circa 2019), but a formula being good does not elevate a palette to must-have status for me. If you’re interested in the palette, consider whether the combination of the formulas and the colors intrigues you, as well as your motivations for buying it.

I don’t quite understand the theme of this palette, but I do appreciate the packaging and the beautiful deck of cards. As soon as this pandemic is over, I’m busting those out for some spades or King’s Cup. I love a good card game, don’t judge me.

BH Cosmetics: Sweet Shoppe Collection

A few months ago, a friend’s swatches of the Sweet Shoppe collection convinced me to give BH Cosmetics a try. The last time I tried BH Cosmetics, I was just beginning my love affair with eyeshadow and I had been seduced by 88 tiny pans of mattes (though many had some sheen). In the decade since, BH Cosmetics has grown a lot. And I’m not just talking about the size of their pans. Word on the street is their eyeshadow formulas are superb–not just, but especially, for a drugstore/affordable brand.

So I had to see for myself if the rumors were true. If popularity is any indication, they certainly are. These palettes sold out pretty quickly and, although BH Cosmetics initially said they would not return, are back for another round. 

This post covers all of the palettes in the collection and has some handy features (like the Table of Contents below) to help you all navigate through this content-heavy post. I’ve been holding onto these photos for months (what else is new), but I am so excited to share them with y’all. This collection has definitely been a highlight of the year for me. 


Sweet Shoppe Collection: Overview
About the Sweet Shoppe Collection

The Sweet Shoppe collection consists of six ice-cream-themed monochromatic palettes of reds, oranges, greens, blues, purples and pinks, and browns. The shadows are all embossed with a waffle cone imprint and surrounded by sprinkles. Okay, maybe the imprint is of a sugar cone–but we *all* know waffle cones are superior. When stacked, the palettes combine to form a delicious, colorful ice cream cone–a design feature that I love. It’s clear a lot of thought went into the packaging, the names, and the color stories. 

We’ve seen a lot of monochromatic palettes in the past few years–first with Huda Beauty and then with Colourpop (who took the spotlight away from Huda in this colorful arena, in my opinion). Just when I was getting bored with the inherently limiting ways of monochromatic color schemes, BH Cosmetics swooped in with these treats. The shadows in each palette vary in undertone and depth, making them (again, in my opinion) a bit less limiting than your run-of-the-mill monochromatic palette in terms of the number of looks you can create. 

Cherry on Top
Cherry on Top
About Cherry on Top
Cherry on Top Swatches
Orange Sorbet
About Orange Sorbet
Orange Sorbet Swatches
Cotton Candy
About Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy Swatches
Bubble Gum
About Bubble Gum
Bubble Gum Swatches
About Pistachio
Pistachio Swatches
Sugar Cone
About Sugar Cone
Sugar Cone Swatches
Overall Thoughts

Consider me impressed. The Sweet Shoppe collection was a fun way to be reintroduced to BH Cosmetics. The palettes perform well and, surprisingly, offer sufficient versatility when it comes to possible eye looks. I was surprised at how rich and pigmented some of the mattes were.

The standouts for me are Cotton Candy and Bubble Gum. I find the color stories some of the best that I’ve seen in monochromatic palettes. I’ve never seen bubble gum as deep as some of the mattes in BH’s palette, but I won’t complain because those shadows are amazing. Pistachio is also one of my favorites, mostly because of the beautiful, emerald color of Crunch

While I find it amusing that BH made sure to acknowledge one of the best parts of any ice cream treat, the Sugar Cone palette is my least favorite. I love a good neutral palette, but the Sugar Cone palette left much to be desired with such small differences existing between many of the shadows.

Have you all been able to grab one of these palettes? Which is your favorite?

Nomad Cosmetics: Cartagena Mágica

Today’s destination: Cartagena, Colombia! Nomad Cosmetics recently launched the Cartagena Mágica palette. If you are familiar with Nomad, you know that their branding centers on travel. Each of their products is inspired by a particular destination, inside the United States or outside. On Instagram, I spoke about some issues with the previous palette, Orient Express, … Read more

Āether Beauty: Ametrine Mini Crystal Palette

Founded in 2018, Āether Beauty is a relatively new, ethically-sustainable brand based in California. The brand is dedicated to creating products that are not only good for consumers, but also good for the planet. Āether Beauty kindly gifted me one of their new holiday quads, the Ametrine Mini Crystal Palette. This is the first product I’ve tried from the brand and (spoiler alert) they made a good impression!

About Ametrine

I think Ametrine is a beautiful, good quality quad. The shadows are soft to the touch (might that be the coconut oil and shea butter at work?) and sufficiently pigmented. The color story is romantic and feminine. And the shadows seem well-formulated. Though I’ll be honest, I don’t follow the crystal or clean beauty trends. I’m not sure if this quad will offer skincare benefits as claimed, but I like it for the colors and the textures of the shadows.

I’m happy I got to try out a new-to-me brand and will definitely be checking Āether Beauty out in the future! 

Terra Moons Cosmetics: El Barrio

Discount Code

You can save using my code LEGALLYBLACKBEAUTY at Terra Moons Cosmetics (non-affiliate). Thank you for your support!

Terra Moons Cosmetics is honoring their Latina roots with their new premade palette, El Barrio. The palette will be available for preorder starting October 23, 2020 at 7 pm EST until October 30, 2020. For those who don’t want every shadow, you can pick up each shadow and the empty palette individually. I think that’s so cool Terra Moons is offering so many options! I mean, how many times have you wanted something mostly for the packaging or bought a palette while wishing one or two shadows were something else? For me, many, many times.

I am pretty sure this is not Terra Moons’s first premade palette. I know that they had a now-discontinued Astrology palette which was made in collaboration with a creator.  I love that Terra Moons has stayed true to its brand with both palettes. With El Barrio in particular, it’s nice to see Terra Moons show their love for their culture. 

About El Barrio

I am so excited for this palette to launch! The most exciting parts of this palette for me are the packaging and the inspiration. That’s not a knock on the color story; it’s just that a good theme can definitely sell a palette for me. Actually, I think the color story really suits the theme. You see the colors of all the shadows in the graffiti design on the front of the palette. I can tell Laura, the owner of Terra Moons, put a lot of thought into every single element of this palette. Ritmo and La Reina are extremely foiled metallic shimmers. They exemplify what is so great about indie makeup. Indie brands do not shy away from incredible payoff and pigmentation!  Personally, this is not a color story that immediately makes sense for me. There are a lot of complementary colors, which can be challenging to use in eye looks together because complementary colors can easily turn muddy when combined. There are also a lot of analogous colors here (for example, Sangre, Salvaje, and Ritmo), as well as shadows in the same color family (like Sangre and La Reina, Carnaval and Por La Noche, and Icono and Mi Gente). There are a lot of good pairs to be made here, but I will have to challenge myself to not do too many monochromatic or “obvious” looks.

 I like when palettes challenge me to be creative, but I have a feeling I’ll be subbing Mi Gente and Salvaje for richer colors for at least some of the looks I do with this palette. That’s the beauty of this palette — you don’t have to be committed to only the colors that come in it. You can easily mix and match with other shadows in your collection to create whatever color story you desire. 

10 Favorite Palettes for Fall

It’s FALL! My favorite season! And to celebrate, I’m going to do something I’ve been meaning to do literally since I started posting makeup seriously — rank some fall products! Now, I would not consider myself someone who strictly follows seasonal trends. I wear whatever colors I want year-round, although I do also enjoy doing … Read more